anyCLIMBERS from OKALHOMA--your are in thought and prayers..

Search
Go

Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 1 - 75 of total 75 in this topic
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Topic Author's Original Post - May 20, 2013 - 06:18pm PT
hey there say, all... not sure if there are any here, but some folks may have family in these areas... this is really awful weather here, and huge
tornado touch-down...

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/tornado-oklahoma-city-moore-205548879.html


perhaps, as many of you have dealt with sudden awful weather on a climb, and the drastic change affecting life, at that moment... we can use this thought, and give some wishes or prayers, that folks can get through this, if more come, as they are supposedly expected...
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
May 20, 2013 - 06:22pm PT
=1 Neebs! The midwest has been pummeled this year- rain, floods, tornados now.
michaeld

Sport climber
Sacramento
May 20, 2013 - 06:24pm PT
OKC.

OKC tornado 5/20/13
OKC tornado 5/20/13
Credit: michaeld
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Topic Author's Reply - May 20, 2013 - 06:48pm PT
hey there say, ron, thanks for chipping in...

say, michaeld, that photo was a shock, when i saw it...

i just learned it more more than mile wide, think i last heard: 2 1/2!


thank you all for caring... so very awful for all these folks... :(
just giving time to pray for some kind of help, is better than doing
nothing... the radio had a few folks that went through this, share...

by their voice, it just makes you cry... :(
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
May 20, 2013 - 06:50pm PT
BASE104 lives somewhere near there. I think he said he was somewhere near Norman, which is pretty close to Moore (where the worst of the tornado damage is apparently), IIRC.
Barbarian

climber
May 20, 2013 - 06:54pm PT
Daughter and grandkids are in Shawnee. They were hit by a huge tornado last night. Spent the night under their stairs wearing motorcycle helmets. They are OK.
They were headed to Moore this afternoon to pick up her fiance's motorcycle, but decided against it. Moore was leveled 40 minutes later.
Counting my lucky stars right now.
michaeld

Sport climber
Sacramento
May 20, 2013 - 06:59pm PT
That's crazy Barbarian.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Topic Author's Reply - May 20, 2013 - 07:01pm PT
hey there say, barbarian... oh my... i am so grateful for your family, :O

i was almost ready to cry, as i read this, 'til i heard the part about how they are okay now...

sadly, i know that friends of theirs may not be...
oh my... you all are surely in my heart, babarian...

good to hear from you, too, and regards to your wife... at this awful time of devastation, and your daughter THERE!,
i am happy that you were able to have this treasure of your family being saved through this...

also, elcapinyoazz:
hope BASE104 is okay, and that he can check on family or friends, soon... (have to edit on the spelling of the handle name, i sometimes mess those up, edit=think i fixed it now)...
atgoett

Trad climber
oklahoma city, ok
May 20, 2013 - 07:03pm PT
I commute through Moore daily to university in Norman. By chance I decided to come home early today. It was a pretty nasty storm to say the least.

thanks for the prayers neebee, you're a good soul

/lurker out
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Peavine Basecamp
May 20, 2013 - 07:04pm PT
Biblical.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
May 20, 2013 - 07:06pm PT
Odd that refrigeration eliminated one of the better forms of tornado protection from that landscape. I wouldn't live in one of these areas without some form of underground protection, seems like societal failure of common sense to build suburbs in these areas without such shelters .
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Topic Author's Reply - May 20, 2013 - 07:13pm PT
hey there say, atgoett thank you...


so very glad for a miracle save, for barbarian's family...

with more storms on the way, from that same 'structured one'...
let's pray others can such a treasure...


i remember about the tornado alley, stories, since my folks, and all there
family, were from ohio... it sticks in your heart, to really pray for others, when your family HAS been fortunate... you WANT everyone to be so, if possible...
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Topic Author's Reply - May 20, 2013 - 07:19pm PT
hey there say, healyje... as to this part of your quote:

... I wouldn't live in one of these areas without some form of underground protection, seems like societal failure of common sense to build suburbs in these areas without such shelters

i always WONDERERD about WHY there were not so many underground shelter, as you mentioned... unless they underground?? was not solid and collapses easy? i never understood.. (dont' know what the 'refridgeration' part of your share means? ) thank you for sharing..

from what folks told me in ohio, was that basements were to help, concerning tornados, but i never knew much more, as to if folks had underground shelters, such as root cellars, etc, as well, that could help...


very sad day, for many folks... here's hoping for some kind of new help
somehow for them...
michaeld

Sport climber
Sacramento
May 20, 2013 - 07:28pm PT
"....seems like societal failure of common sense..."


Kind of like New Orleans being built -6ft underwater. Hello Katrina.
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
May 20, 2013 - 07:32pm PT
Neebs, the refrigeration part means that we used to have root cellars/ice house/etc, that doubled as storm shelter. With a Frigidaire, you don't need a root cellar, but then you don't have a storm shelter either.
Anastasia

climber
Home
May 20, 2013 - 07:53pm PT
I was told most shelters are built UNDER the slabs so...People might still be trapped under all that debris. I'm praying and... Yes, Bill might be called out there and he will have my full support. In fact I am hoping he does, it will make me feel that at least something is getting done. If I had the time and skills, heck, even carpentry skills, I would be out there trying to help out. I wonder if anyone could gather up some camping supplies and help with the shelter issues? I don't know... Stuff like this makes me jumpy. One of these days, I'll get Loki to finish her training or another dog to work as a search dog and I actually will be there. Mark my words... I just need the kids to be of school age so I could drop stuff and go. At an age when having them sleep over isn't that difficult.

Psilocyborg

climber
May 20, 2013 - 07:54pm PT
Yo, so we moved here temperarily from riverside county a couple months ago. We live in Edmond which is on the north side of Oklahoma City area. Yesterday we were under threat, but we had time, I made my girlfriend jump in the truck and we got out of there. A weak tornado touched down a mile south of our apartment.

So then today we watched the whole thing unfold on television. From before the funnel formed to when it was just tearing through the city. The destruction is massive, and watching the tornado form and destroy the city live on TV was just surreal. Strangely voyeuristic. This is total madness!

Moving back home to Hemet in July...counting the days to get out of this flatland deathtrap!

Yeah and we have nowhere to go in a tornado. This complex has no shelter, and this is a pretty nice apartment complex. I am just flabberghasted there is nowhere for us to go. Leaving the area seemed like a smart move. We had plenty of warning and it only took a few minutes to hit the freeway and start hauling ass out of the way.

neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Topic Author's Reply - May 20, 2013 - 08:15pm PT
hey there say, elcapinyoazz... oooooooooohhhhh, now i understand... it did have to do with the rootcellar things...

and psilocyborg (hope i spelled that righ)...
say, i oddly had the radio staion somehow bumped and it had been on the wrong station, all morning, but i was outside, so did not know...
i LEAVE it on for the bird,as it is said that they need noise, if you are not around... well:


THAT is how i learned of all this, and took to praying... one of the INTERVIEWS, there was a man who said the very same thing as you:

he was fortunate enough to SEE it forming, and knew what was going one (radio info, too, ???? he may have had?) so he took off on the freeway,
in the opposite direction.. apparently he JUST got away from it just in time... you could tell the gratitude in his speech...



anastasia... from what i heard unless the info changed, they may not even be able to help yet, as more may? be on the way, from the same weather-system, :O that is what is what another fear is, there... :O


say--i know i am far off, but if you needed me, years from now, as you
'travel to do good' i am here for to watch the ol' kid, :)
if you are heading out this a way, of course, ;)

prayers for bill to do and be, where and what, he is trained for...
god blesss...
michaeld

Sport climber
Sacramento
May 20, 2013 - 09:22pm PT
Numbers 51 as of right now, and they're still trickling in.... Hopefully this disaster doesn't come close to Joplin's devastation.
slabbo

Trad climber
fort garland, colo
May 20, 2013 - 10:14pm PT
Peace all and good luck.. i have been near 3 twisters and the scared me more than any run out, ever.
johntp

Trad climber
socal
May 20, 2013 - 10:57pm PT
There are a lot of climbers in OK. Most live in the Norman area, but some in Moore and greater OKC. This storm system is not done yet.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 20, 2013 - 11:03pm PT
base104 who posts over on the science vs religion thread lives in Oklahoma and is a tornado chaser. I hope he's ok through all this.
Bowser

Social climber
Durango CO
May 20, 2013 - 11:17pm PT
I am from Woodward OK and my wife's family all live all over OKC area. I worked as a paramedic in OKC right out of high school. Most of my graduating class live in OKC too. Everyone that we know, so far is ok.

Please send out your best wishes to all the rescuers, victims and volunteer relief efforts.

Tyler

jmc27

Trad climber
Bay Area, CA
May 21, 2013 - 12:26am PT
neebee you're so kind to post this. you're always such a caring person.

I was born and raised in Oklahoma (live in San Jose now) and this tornado is reminiscent of the one that happened in 1999. Though all my family and friends are safe, I know that there are many people affected by the storm who are suffering now. My thoughts go out to everyone involved.
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
May 21, 2013 - 12:34am PT
Be safe, Oklahoma!

You are in our prayers. Take care! God bless those kids.
squishy

Mountain climber
May 21, 2013 - 01:34am PT
My mother is in NW AR right next door and the storms hit them in the evening, she said it was scary, no shelter there but they have stocked the closet (including a wifi laptop) with supplies to prepare for the next round. At least there's some hills to break up the winds near them but the straight line winds reach tornado speeds. It's gonna be a bad season and seeing those bricks spread out like that scares me.
David D.

Trad climber
Monterey
May 21, 2013 - 02:30am PT
Up to 91 deaths now...
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/21/us/tornado-oklahoma.html?pagewanted=1
stich

Trad climber
Colorado Springs, Colorado
May 21, 2013 - 09:06am PT
Just heard from my climbing friends and they were 20 miles south of where the F5 hit at a college.
Gilroy

Social climber
Bolderado
May 21, 2013 - 09:18am PT
A pictorial and map feature of the storm path. A tornado also touched down near Meeker, OK, up near the Wichitas.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/05/20/us/oklahoma-tornado-map.html?ref=us

Made my throat clutch up a little seeing the devastation in those levelled neighborhoods. I never got easy with the threat of tornadoes when I lived in places prone to them. Now I have traded that for the threat of wildfire but somehow it seems better to me.

The mountains are my shelter in more ways than one.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 21, 2013 - 10:40am PT
base 104 just posted to Facebook and he's ok. As anticipated he was out chasing the storm which is the most impressive he says, of the 200 some he has followed. He got hom ok but his truck took a beating from flying debris.
shit tooth

Trad climber
Oklahoma City, OK
May 21, 2013 - 11:03am PT
Former oklahomie here (moved just 6 months ago), and I could say a lot or a little about storms there, but nothing really could describe the mixed emotions they bring. It's really like a terrible lottery. You take the ticket every single storm season that you're in the region. When your ticket gets drawn you can only really hope that your home is built strongly.
Every region has its form of natural disaster and I can't say I'd prefer one over any other, but its sad anytime you see mother nature level what we've come to call home. My heart goes out to those that have passed on, and those that will rebuild. There really isn't another option. Live and love while you can cause you will die too. Thanks supertopians for letting me vent a bit.
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
May 21, 2013 - 11:13am PT
Here's a link to a NBC aerial video of the tornado. Looks like it was taken from a drone helicopter.

Very impressive tornado footage towards the end of the video.
http://www.nbcnews.com/video/nbc-news/51945473/#51945473

Good luck to you folks in "tornado alley."
climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
May 21, 2013 - 11:49am PT
Would be nice to hear from BASE104. Hope all is well for him.
michaeld

Sport climber
Sacramento
May 21, 2013 - 12:04pm PT
From 51, down to 24.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
May 21, 2013 - 12:12pm PT
Me earliest childood memory is being in a tornada in Seward Nebraska. Our neighbors home disappeared , and i distinctly remember the "freight train" noise.

Prayers to those who lost their lives and or homes!
golsen

Social climber
kennewick, wa
May 21, 2013 - 12:33pm PT
Tony Mayse? Are you alright buddy?

Tony is from Moore, wrote the OK guidebook. I remember eating pancakes at his house in Moore on our way to go climbing. Met him in 1992 or so at Quartz Mtn.

Post up when you get a chance! Thinking of you and Lori

Gary
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
May 21, 2013 - 07:34pm PT
I don't know, here's the tracks for the 2013, 2003, and 1999 tornadoes in Moore, OK - the 1999 tornado killed 36:



And these guys sell these storm shelters for $4,495 installed:





I see a lot of fancy cars in the wreckage, still seems crazy you wouldn't spend the $5k and have a shelter if you lived in a place like this. Seems even crazier the building codes would allow the construction of a house without some form of storm shelter.


neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Topic Author's Reply - May 21, 2013 - 11:02pm PT
hey there say, golsen... hope you head from tony, by now???


also, hope folks have heard from BASE?


not sure what is going on in oklahoma, now, as to weather... but i did hear a gal say there may be more storms???? tonight... but not sure if they have moved on, or are in process...


hoping and praying for folks to be okay...
thanks for sharing anything that has helped folks, or just
things that have let us all know you are thinking on the folks
involved in all this...


god bless...
goatboy smellz

climber
Nederland-GulfBreeze
May 21, 2013 - 11:07pm PT
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon

May 20, 2013 - 04:06pm PT
Odd that refrigeration eliminated one of the better forms of tornado protection from that landscape. I wouldn't live in one of these areas without some form of underground protection, seems like societal failure of common sense to build suburbs in these areas without such shelters .

The air must be a little thin that high on an ivory pedestal.
johntp

Trad climber
socal
May 21, 2013 - 11:19pm PT
Pretty sure BASE104 is good; he lives south of the path. Hell, he is probably in an oil patch somewhere.

That and he wants to be an as#@&%e. He is not there yet and I've never know him to be denied his goal.

edit: BASE104 is a great person and no matter how much he works at being an dick, he will never make it. But I like to taunt him..
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
May 21, 2013 - 11:27pm PT
Could just be me, I guess, but if I decided to live in a known tornado alley, I'd take some basic precautions for my family. So when I see what seems like common sense getting lost on a grand scale, I just can't help but wonder what's going on. Or are you saying you'd live there with no storm shelter of any kind and just roll the dice?
goatboy smellz

climber
Nederland-GulfBreeze
May 21, 2013 - 11:31pm PT
Not everyone gets to decide where they live or what comforts they can provide for family.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-21/oklahoma-schools-where-children-died-didn-t-have-safe-rooms-.html

Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
May 21, 2013 - 11:31pm PT
thats the same thing they said when the Berkeley fire was going and such.. Not many areas are free from a disaster via ma nature.
johntp

Trad climber
socal
May 21, 2013 - 11:39pm PT
Could just be me, I guess, but if I decided to live in a known tornado alley, I'd take some basic precautions for my family. So when I see what seems like common sense getting lost on a grand scale, I just can't help but wonder what's going on. Or are you saying you'd live there with no storm shelter of any kind and just roll the dice?

There is only so much that be done. Not everyone is wealthy enough to prepare for this sort of thing.

How many on the west coast are prepared for a .9 earthquake, tsunamis, volcanoes, etc.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
May 21, 2013 - 11:52pm PT
Moore is a middle to middle upper class town with half the poverty rate of Reno. The aerial path shots are of high value and square footage homes in well-to-do neighborhoods likely built since '99. Most of the cars in the wreckage easily cost many times the installed cost of a storm shelter. There's certainly no affordability issue in the vast majority of those high-end homes. What's even more of a mystery is how the institutions failed to mandate a $2-3k storm shelter be built into every new home built since an F5 hit the town in '99, let alone new schools and commercial buildings.
johntp

Trad climber
socal
May 21, 2013 - 11:55pm PT
Moore is a middle to middle upper class town with half the poverty rate of Reno. The aerial path shots are of high square footage homes in well-to-do neighborhoods of likely recently built homes. Most of the cars in the wreckage easily cost many times the installed cost of a storm shelter. There's certainly no affordability issue in the vast majority of those high-end homes. What's even more of a mystery is how the institutions failed to mandate a $2-3k storm shelter be built into every new home built since an F5 hit the town in '99.

So you are covered if hood blows it's top?

edit: not really arguing with you, but risk mitigation is a financial decision and how far do you go? If you are at work and your kids are at school, what does it matter if you have a shelter at home?
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
May 22, 2013 - 12:06am PT
I am here in Portland, but I specifically chose not to live in Seattle because of the myriad of potential issues should Ranier go off.

And let's distinguish between those events we can do something about and those we can't. Sure, some events like large scale flooding are about where you choose to buy a home. But, again, a below-ground storm shelter installed for $4,495 to someone living in the shadow of the worst US tornado since '71 and another bad one in 2003. But you'd by buy a $30k vehicle instead?

If I lived there and couldn't afford the $4.5k, I'd be out in the yard with a shovel digging a root cellar myself. And that $4.5k would be way cheaper had shelters been bought in volume by developers mandated to build them into all new homes by common sense building codes.

Again, would you live in a place known to be visited by deadly tornadoes on the same track every couple of years without a shelter?

If you are at work and your kids are at school, what does it matter if you have a shelter at home?

No new school, hospital or commercial building should have been built without a storm-rated shelter for the building's occupancy permit. Again, what's the thinking around the building codes that would have them ignore that? I mean, do they just rebuild the houses, school, and hospital as they were and just roll the dice yet again? Sorry, that just seems crazy to me.
John M

climber
May 22, 2013 - 12:21am PT
I get what Joe is saying.

California has earthquake codes. Even just simple things like strapping the frame of your house to the foundation has saved a lot of homes. I can't imagine that they let them build schools without shelters.

And let's distinguish between those events we can do something about and those we can't.

Yep..
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
May 22, 2013 - 12:26am PT
And, hey, I'm not without sympathy for the folks' loss and tragedy, I'm just trying to make sense out of it all. I was totally stunned when I saw they historical tracks for the town and that the '99 tornado was the worst F5 since '71.

Given they seem to be 'in the zone', I'm just trying to piece together the thinking, or lack of thinking, around the obvious risk proposition. It feels a lot like packing food, water, and a ledge for a four or five day go of aiding El Cap without ever considering taking ropes.
goatboy smellz

climber
Nederland-GulfBreeze
May 22, 2013 - 12:54am PT
Joe, lack of thinking and civil engineering on a city scale have always been a joke. Look around and consider yourself lucky your life doesn't depend on society's lowest common denominator engineering. Technically, we are all one storm away from losing it all.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 22, 2013 - 06:45am PT
A current article in the New York Times says that it's also culture. People there don't like government regulation, it says??? And both senators voted against aid for the victims of Hurricane Sandy and one of them has already come out against aid for Oklahoma?????
Bowser

Social climber
Durango CO
May 22, 2013 - 08:09am PT
We were informed 2 days ago via facebook that my sister in law and her husband and 7 y/o son lost everything. Their son was at the Briarwood school but was picked up early. They rode out the storm at his mothers home which had no basement.

They all got beat up pretty good but are ok and staying with friends.

I always wondered why more houses in Oklahoma did not have storm shelters. Our house did not but my grandmothers house had a basement. As I remember, most of the basements I saw either had major water problems or was stuffed full of junk. It seems like the smaller, tornado specific shelters just started showing up a few years ago.

My parents bought a 2 person steel shelter that is bolted to the slab. Neither one of them can go up and down stairs to get in a shelter so this was the next best affordable thing.

Tyler
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Topic Author's Reply - May 24, 2013 - 06:38am PT
hey there say,golsen/gary... as to this post:

May 21, 2013 - 09:33am PT
Tony Mayse? Are you alright buddy?

Tony is from Moore, wrote the OK guidebook. I remember eating pancakes at his house in Moore on our way to go climbing. Met him in 1992 or so at Quartz Mtn.

Post up when you get a chance! Thinking of you and Lori

Gary


from a note, i have heard that tony is okay... so i wanted to let you
know that... whewwww... :)
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Topic Author's Reply - May 24, 2013 - 06:42am PT
hey there say, healyje...

as to this quote of yours:

No new school, hospital or commercial building should have been built without a storm-rated shelter for the building's occupancy permit. Again, what's the thinking around the building codes that would have them ignore that? I mean, do they just rebuild the houses, school, and hospital as they were and just roll the dice yet again? Sorry, that just seems crazy to me.

wow, i surely understand what you mean... i thought that
there was some kind of safety codes, too, for weather issues that could hurt a public building--this is very strange, i would think... :(
johntp

Trad climber
socal
May 31, 2013 - 10:15pm PT
round two. big storm in the works.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Topic Author's Reply - May 31, 2013 - 11:17pm PT
hey there say, glanton...

sorry, saw this so late... did not mean to ignore you feelings on the
"ol' god blessers" :)

not sure if this may help you know-or-understand where some of us are coming from, as to your quote here:

To all of you "godblessers", did not your same god send them tornadoes to do what they did?
Not trying to be a dick on this one but this tired saying of yours really is stupid.
Thoughts and well wishes to the beraved.

well, it's kind of like a respectful way that some of us send those "thoughts and well wishes" in the way that we learned...

not sure if i can explain,
but to me, god, or the 'great whatever out there", to "so many, in many different ways" well,
he, like a picture of the father-figure in my/our homes, KNOWS that awful things go on out in the big world, and we all go through them, but as with any good father, a father sure wishes his "blessings" of "face the challenge, overcome the challenge, get well, and all the things that us humans, must do, after any event that is over human-simplicity to face...

so, hence, a father would say or give:
father's blessings... a mom, would, too, or sister, etc etc, ...

so to me, at least, even though the awful weather and accidents happen, i love my friends and wish and pray for them the "god bless" that i send out, as if i am A SISTER sending out what "i feel is from a god" in my life--that spiritual father, above and beyond what we on earth can comprehend...


:)

does help you understand just a bit, what i mean, by that?
sure am not trying to make you feel tired, :(


just think of it, at least in my case as this:

oh no, there goes neebee again... and just shrug it off... :)


it is my best sincere way of saying, i really want so very very much
for things to get well, for folks to overcome and have new hope in their
new hard trail:

weather as to accidents concerning families or loved ones, weather, or injury, or folks that pass on...


well, oh my, here i go again:






























god bless... ;)
:) sincerely, i mean it...
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Topic Author's Reply - May 31, 2013 - 11:19pm PT
hey there say, johntp... oh my, i just heard, too... and saw a weather report... :(

thanks for reminding us to:

pray, and hope and do anything else, that we feel we can or should do...


god bless.... :)
johntp

Trad climber
socal
Jun 1, 2013 - 05:02pm PT
9 more dead; hundreds injured.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jun 1, 2013 - 05:05pm PT
Prayers to the midwest, they are either flooding with fifteen inches if rain in a week or blowing away in a tornado..
Chappy5150

climber
Denver, CO
Jun 1, 2013 - 06:00pm PT
Spent most of last night talking with my brother via text to let him know where the tornados were (lost power about 30 minutes before it hit). He either was hit by the tornado south of Tinker or it JUST missed him. Most of the damage in his neighborhood was fairly minor, but this is a picture three houses down...

Credit: Chappy5150

Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jun 2, 2013 - 06:06pm PT
While I don't like the exact title of this thread (i.e. I am not interested solely in climbers; maybe I am misinterpreting?), the latest news related to "risk taking people" (like climbers) is that 3 "storm chasers" died on Friday.
http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-storm-chasers-killed-oklahoma-20130602,0,7503065.story
Three storm chasers were among those killed by violent storms in the Oklahoma City area last week, family members said Sunday.

Tim Samaras, a veteran storm chaser considered a leader in tornado research and data collection, died along with his 24-year-old son, Paul Samaras, and partner, Carl Young, while tracking an EF-3 tornado that struck the Oklahoma City suburb of El Reno Friday evening.

All three were known from the Discovery Channel show “Storm Chasers,” which aired for five years, ending in the fall of 2011.
...
Officials have not yet determined the circumstances of their deaths. The violent and erratic twister also swept up a Weather Channel truck, tossing it 200 yards and injuring members of the team inside.

Mike Bettes, an anchor and meteorologist for the Weather Channel who was in the truck, described the storm in an interview with CNN on Sunday.

"I think this was just an erratic tornado. I think the size of it and the speed of it changed very, very quickly," Bettes said. "I think the direction of movement changed quickly. And I think there were a lot of people out there that, you know, ended up getting stuck in positions we didn't want to be in."

More details in:
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/06/02/storm-chasers-tornadoes-oklahoma-weather/2382175/
Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Betsy Randolph says she could hear the audio from storm chasers trapped on Oklahoma highways as a tornado bore down.

"They were screaming, 'We're going to die, we're going to die,' " she recalls. "There was just no place to go. There was no place to hide."

... killed by a tornado in El Reno that packed winds of up to 165 mph. They were among 10 killed in storms Friday in Oklahoma.
...
Samaras' crushed vehicle was found along a road running south of and parallel to Highway 40 just outside El Reno, Okla., leading authorities to speculate he was tracking the tornado as it was heading east before suddenly turning south, says Canadian County Undersheriff Chris West. One body was found inside the wreckage, a second about quarter-mile east and a third a quarter-mile west, West says.
...
Forbes says GPS readings confirmed there were probably two dozen storm-chasing vehicles in the area at the time.
S.Leeper

Social climber
somewhere that doesnt have anything over 90'
Jun 2, 2013 - 08:01pm PT
Being a Texan, my thoughts go out to our neighbors.
John M

climber
Jun 2, 2013 - 08:10pm PT
I wonder if the storm chasers ended up in a traffic jam because fewer and fewer people have storm cellars, and cities, schools and churches are not building them either, so some people are trying to run away from the storms. Thus leading to more people on the road.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Jun 2, 2013 - 10:18pm PT
Hey,

I am down in Texas bringing a sailboat home.

Yeah, I don't talk about a lot of the stuff I've done because people don't believe it, but I worked on the spring 6 week long field experiments through the National Severe Storms lab. I never wanted to be out clogging roads if I wasn't helping science. I've done a couple of hurricanes as well, and I was really good at it. Supposedly Jerry (full professor at OU and leading numerical modeler of tornadoes and hurricanes) and mine's data was easy to pick out, because we know storm structure very well. I gave it up about ten years ago. I got tired of driving from Lubbock to South Dakota every day.

It is actually pretty hard to see a tornado. The vast majority are weak and last only a couple of minutes. Until the Moore F5, I had never seen a city get clobbered, and I've seen a lot of tornadoes. I only go out now if it is a really good day and it is thirty minutes from my house. Early in the season they move very fast, but in May they slow down and tend to head east. By the first week of June a high pressure ridge, known as the "death ridge" ends the season here, but as the jet moves north, there are a LOT of tornadoes up in eastern Wyoming, eastern Montana, and the Dakotas. I've seen tornadoes in all of those states.

As for the storm shelter discussion, you need to understand how rarely tornadoes hit populated areas. East of the Rockies is by far the most tornado rich area in the U.S., but statistically, a tornado crosses a single spot once every 1600 years. What has happened over and over again in Moore is just super bad luck. I have an underground shelter and I always keep the garage door open for the neighbors, and this year I have hosted up to ten people when the sirens blow. When I was watching the Moore monster come into town, the streets were totally empty and everyone had about 30 minutes of warning. This state has incredible warning systems. You must understand that although that tornado did cause deaths, without our amazing warning system, it would have been worse than Joplin, which killed 190 people or something crazy. We lost 24. In contrast, a tornado hit the town of Woodward back in the really old days and killed half the town. That was before radar and hit just after dark.

When tornadoes are about to happen, all of the TV stations stop all shows and all commercials, often for 6 hours or more. They have helicopters and small armies of really good chasers spread along the initiation line. There hasn't been a tornado not filmed in Oklahoma for ten years or something. The TV stations all have zillion dollar radars, and the weather service has theirs. We are home to the National Severe Storms Lab (very loosely lampooned in the horrible movie Twister, which I worked on for 6b weeks). We also have the Storm Prediction Center, which handles every weather watch for the entire nation. We also have a bunch of severe weather research centers all located in the same building on the OU campus in Norman. You can't live in Norman without a meteorologist living on your street.

The research and chaser community knows when we are going to have an outbreak, and as the day approaches the models get more precise. They model not only the "weather" but also the sheer environment, the available convective energy, and a ton of other indicators. We have always had guys fly in from other universities a couple of days ahead. On the day, it gets narrowed down to a few counties, and we often are sitting under blue skies when the temperature reaches the convective temp and towering cumulus begins and turn into supercells.

With all of that information, you would think that it is easy, but many, many, days the storms suck or they don't break the cap and we don't even get rain. The vast majority of tornadoes are weak and short lived. Many people live their entire lives without seeing a tornado around here.

Getting skunked happens a lot. Seeing a really major tornado, like an EF-4 or 5 is really rare. They are the top few percent. On the F5 in Moore, the helicopters and chasers were on those storms long before they put down tornadoes. The TV stations show the mesocyclone down to the street level now, so you KNOW it if it is coming.

Right now I'm in shock over the death of Tim Samaras on Friday in a large tornado in NW Oklahoma City. This has been a crazy year. We had no major tornadoes through the whole spring, and then in the past week the jet has been sending us those big troughs that come in over the Pacific Northwest.

A chaser has never been killed by a tornado before. We know storm structure so well that we always keep a bug out route, and I have been very close to many tornadoes trying to get data all around the storm. We also collect data just as vigourously on supercells that don't tornado, despite having a strong mesocyclone aloft. It is a big mystery why some storms tornado and one next to it doesn't. Of course a lot of them are easy to understand, but violent long track tornadoes are only now being modeled, using a lot of the data that we have collected in the field over the years. I've had a lot of my data end up in peer reviewed papers.

We now have a whole lot of geeks, the Twister Generation, who just chase to shoot video, as well as just curious locals, who clog the roads around good storms. A lot of us have become disgusted with this, because they don't do any research. That is why I never go out unless it is close, and if there are 50 backed up chaser vehicles on the same storm, I go home. Now I try to see one a year, but I saw a violent long track one the day before the Moore tornado, and that was a difficult storm with a lot of rain. I know how to find the updraft base, and watched it for about ten minutes.

I'll make a post about Tim Samaras, his son, and his partner in a minute. I'm just catching up on it and I have a bunch of texts coming in as I type this. Tim wasn't like that screaming bonehead that I won't name, but you may have seen on TV. Tim partnered with several universities and finally put out a string of instruments that were took direct hits after decades of failure.

He did a lot of other stuff that is pretty technical, but he recorded a 100 millibar pressure drop as one of his turtles took a direct hit. All of that data gets used my the modelers, because what goes on very close to the ground is poorly understood. He was bad ass, but very smart and knew how to be safe. The first chaser fatalities were always assumed to happen to the idiot geeks, but he was in the top 5 or so on field data collection, which I can assure you is extremely difficult. The roads have to be right. You have to be well ahead of the tornado to lay out your string of turtles, and get them directly in the path. We always carried turtles on the NSSL experiments, and only deployed them twice and both times they failed. Tim pulled it off several times, measuring all of the physical parameters which had never been measured other than with radar, which doesn't see very close to the ground.

I saw a couple of articles that made him sound like an adrenaline junky, but that isn't how weather is. It is extremely science intensive just to get in the right place to catch an incredibly short and rare event. To have a guy like Tim and his partner and son die is a total shock. He was light years ahead of anyone at the Weather Channel, who we kind of look at as a joke, because they can't put in the months and months and years and years that it takes. The experiments I worked on had anywhere from 8 to 20 vehicles and several portable Doppler radars, which can get close and see windspeeds close to the ground. It was all science, and everyone had advanced degrees.

To lose a guy like Tim is mind boggling. I'm going to get the details right now, but the weather channel is covering them right now, and is giving them the credit that they deserve from 25 years of work.

No chaser has died in a tornado until now, although we have all had scary moments. If you don't know what you are doing, a car is the worst place to get hit, but we always keep a way out. I can just put the probe in reverse, back up 500 yards and let them go by. This tornado took a very odd turn, and the visibility was poor.

Sorry to take up so much space here, but most people do not understand tornadoes and human response. In Oklahoma, the biggest dimwit can look at a radar image and see the hook echo which is where the tornadoes happen, when they happen. The lead time has been going up greatly because of all of this collaboration, and it is important from just a physics point of view. Nobody knows how a tornado forms. Sure there are a zillion radar loops showing the rotation aloft, but getting that lowest thousand feet to the ground is a huge scientific problem.

The problem is that there are many radar indicated tornado warnings on storms that have wicked rotation aloft, but don't tornado. This has cause a big cry wolf problem, and people stop paying attention to the warnings. Weeding those storms out is a huge problem.
johntp

Trad climber
socal
Jun 2, 2013 - 10:46pm PT
what is a turtle?
tinker b

climber
the commonwealth
Jun 2, 2013 - 10:58pm PT
i actually read all that.. thanks. i learned a bunch.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jun 2, 2013 - 11:19pm PT
Thanks for sharing, BASE104 - very interesting stuff. Sorry about the loss of one of the best researchers and his helpers.

johntp,

A "turtle" is a portable (and rugged) data sensor deployed on the ground.
Tim Samaras, a 45-year-old electronics engineer from Denver, and his storm-chasing partner, Pat Porter, are in a van that carries six probes, often called "turtles"—squat, 45-pound metal disks that look like flying saucers. Through embedded sensors, the probes can measure a tornado's wind speed and direction, barometric pressure, humidity, and temperature. Samaras's mission, and his passion, is to plant them in the path of the funnel. His hope is that both he and the instruments survive.

photo of Tim Samaras, 2003
http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/earth/earths-atmosphere/chasing-tornadoes-earth/
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Jun 2, 2013 - 11:42pm PT
It is an aerodynamically and lead weighted thing that had a full suite of instruments. You turn them on, place them along a line if you are lucky enough to have a road, and hope they take a direct hit. They have been through wind tunnels, and won't budge in 250 mph winds. We failed over and over again. We would be on a tornado, but the road system is what it is, and if you don't have a N/S road to place them on, you are hosed. I only saw them deployed twice in over a decade and countless months on these spring field experiments.

Tim Samaras was very commited and extremely good at picking the path. He could safely place them, and on one that took a direct hit, he recorded a 100 millibar pressure drop in 40 seconds. Nobody had seen that data. It affects windspeed (which was also measured), thermodynamics, everything.

It is pretty science intensive. No way could I discuss it here.

There had been modelers who insisted that rising wind inside the center of tornados must have been over 300 or 400 mph. He gathered that data and took care of that end. His data has been used and published over and over again.

It isn't an adrenaline activity. It is usually incredibly boring, disappointing, and frustrating. You can have everything, including the NCAR Electra and P3 hurricane hunters, but if you don't get the right set up, you will get a sunburn over the spring.

We've worked with lots of airplanes which carry really sweet radars to give a 3 dimensional picture of the storm. The coolest is at the S Dakota school of mines. They have an old WW2 era armored airplane and he flys in and out of the updraft, getting clobbered with baseball hail.

One time the NCAR Electra, which is a really large aircraft, hit a downdraft that was so bad that it bent the frame and the back door wouldn't open. That took a ton of money to fix.

On hurricanes, the hurricane hunters would drop sondes on us as we made transects in and out of the eyewall. I don't like hurricanes. They last for days, they are hard on the instruments, and everything gets so wet that it is fungal.

NASA has a couple of new satellites that are seeing detail in hurricanes that will blow your mind. They have high res radar and infrared cameras that show features that nobody knew existed. These features explain why even a relatively small hurricane can cause a lot of damage if it has these features. Nova did a 2 hour special on them a while back. My buddy Jerry is working with the national hurricane center and they are finding out amazing things that nobody knew about from the regular radars.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Jun 2, 2013 - 11:59pm PT
Nobody can believe that Tim was the first chaser fatality. Yeah, he enjoyed the big storms like we all do, but he collaborated with a bunch of researchers and recorded data that had never been seen.

One year our project was called Vortex-RFD. The Vortex field experiments were huge with huge budgets. This year we were trying to measure a downdraft that we were noticing on the back side of the storm, and it was a problem with modeling.

Almost all downdrafts are rain cooled air that is heavier than the surrounding air and just falls to spread out on the ground like pouring syrup but it covered miles.

We discovered that it was hot and moist. That air should not have been falling in the mid troposphere environment, which is usually cold and dry in supercells. That meant that it was adiabatically forced, and solving that was huge. Now it is 10 years old and in all of the papers and models. We spent a whole summer with ten probe vehicles trying to get on the west side of a tornado and measure this. We succeeded and it changed tornado science a lot.

It all comes down to improving warnings and eliminating the warnings when nothing happens. People stop paying attention and the fatality rate was going up.

On the F5 Moore tornado, all of the warnings, including the on-air meteorologists told everyone that this tornado was so powerful that you couldn't sit it out in a closet. They plainly said if you weren't underground, you would die. As I watched it come in, there was nobody outside being an idiot. Everyone had taken shelter, and usually a neighbor has an underground shelter.

I'm getting emails. Signing off.

I will say that I used to run into Tim all over the great plains. We all knew where the tornado risk was, and it was common to run into a friend 600 miles from home, on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere.

Tim was the best, or I should say, nobody was better.
johntp

Trad climber
socal
Jun 3, 2013 - 12:08am PT
condolences. I had no clue about the science.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 3, 2013 - 12:14am PT
hey there say, base104, i had just read about the loss of this man, tim samaras, and his son--and partner...

was wondering if you knew him, i have not read any more of all this yet, but will do now...

oh, oh my, clint...
i just put the title this way, in case some of
the "this does not pertain to climbing folks' would not think i was
rude, to post it here... :(


wanted the climbers, to know that i was thinking of THEM in a knit-circle-way, too, and not just the folks in oklahoma that i don't know...
they whole state, was on my folks...

:) folks that really know me, surely know i'd never put those folks
aside... :(


god bless... and thanks for noting how it may seem
odd, in the OTHER direction, this time, :)

edit:
as to this:
To lose a guy like Tim is mind boggling. I'm going to get the details right now, but the weather channel is covering them right now, and is giving them the credit that they deserve from 25 years of work

thank you so very kindly base104 for all this information and taking time to share it all, and to SHARE also, about tim...
very good stuff to learn, and to cherish, as to his work--even more so, now that he is gone...

thank you...

thanks to clint for posting, i was a tad too late, :)
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Jun 3, 2013 - 01:16am PT
Back in the day, it was mainly all researchers and we traveled wherever the tornadoes were going to happen, from midland texas to south Dakota.

I used to run into Tim and the rest of the gang all of the time, but I doubt he remembers me. We would run into each other in rural Nebraska or any other odd place where storms were going to happen.

I know him a little, but I know more about the data that he had been getting over the last five years. He was finally getting data inside tornadoes, after decades of trying.

I couldn't believe it was him. It defies reality. Chasing sounds dangerous, but it is actually pretty safe. driving on wet roads is the biggest danger.
johntp

Trad climber
socal
Jun 3, 2013 - 01:29am PT
driving on wet roads is the biggest danger.

I started to laugh; but upon reflection saw the reality.
bergbryce

Mountain climber
California
Jun 3, 2013 - 02:29am PT
Man, I thought you worked in oil and gas.

Very sorry about your friend.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Jun 3, 2013 - 10:03am PT
I do work in oil and gas. NSSL would use a few of us because they were having a problem with some of the vehicles getting off mission. We had far more field experience and could get to the right point at the right time to get the required data.

I did it for about ten years. A chaser had never been killed, and we were sure that it would have been the cowboy chasers who are just out there shooting video to peddle.

Time was doing great things. For instance, we kept failing at getting a turtle in a tornado despite years of trying.

He designed a far better model and pulled it off several times. He was closely affiliated with the research community, and his death is a shock.

I still don't know what happened other than the tornado took a huge jog in its path and cut off his bug out route, which we always keep.

Here is a picture of the tornado coming in to Moore, the F5:

Moore F5 tornado approaching Moore, OK. It grew to F5 status when I bu...
Moore F5 tornado approaching Moore, OK. It grew to F5 status when I bugged out south and let it pass.
Credit: BASE104

Messages 1 - 75 of total 75 in this topic
Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
 
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks


Try a free sample topo!

 
SuperTopo on the Web

Review Categories
Recent Route Beta
Recent Gear Reviews